WUHAN — Videos out of China have been described as “apocalyptic” as they show workers in Wuhan fighting the coronavirus by spraying city streets with disinfectant and authorities seizing for quarantine those who are suspected to have been exposed or infected. Reports also state that the government has required cremation of those who died from the virus so as to avoid spread, and funeral home employees are growing tired from the workload.
According to reports, the current death toll is over 1,000 with more than 42,000 cases being confirmed. The World Health Organization (WHO) held an event in Geneva on Tuesday to discuss the outbreak with some of the world’s top scientists.
ORIGIN AND SANITATION
Joe Drake of the U.S.-based company Decon Seven, told Business Insider that he is familiar with the Wuhan wet market where the virus is stated to have first afflicted a human — and that it was not a sanitary situation.
“You have live fish, you have dead fish, you have other animals in there,” he explained. “There’s no hygiene standards. They just rinse things down with a garden hose. That doesn’t do anything. You’re just basically creating a bacteria soup.”
Following animal-to-human transmission, the virus, also known as 2019-nCoV, began to spread throughout January and February — turning into what some are now considering labeling a pandemic.
“Because the coronavirus is chiefly transmitted through respiratory droplets, which get passed around in an infected person’s spit and mucus, China has placed around 56 million people under quarantine, hoping that keeping people home, and having them wear masks when they go outside, will help prevent more virus spread,” Business Insider outlines.
“But in cities and towns across Asia, sanitation workers are also redoubling efforts to spray down entire towns, sending trucks filled with low concentration bleach-and-water solutions into the streets, and dispatching hazmat-suited workers into train stations and malls to wipe every nook and cranny.”
Those who live in China have provided a glimpse into the current situation in the country, as a number of videos have been posted online, such as one showing sanitation workers in hazmat suits running through the streets with a billowing disinfectant. The video was also shared by People’s Daily, which created a compilation of clips showing various sterilization cannons and trucks in action in Wuhan.
SEIZURES OF THE POTENTIALLY INFECTED
Another video shows at least two people entering some sort of box on the back of a truck while workers in hazmat suits shut the tailgate and then get into the vehicle to drive them away. Screams can be heard, whether coming from the box or those on the street.
A video also shows suited workers manhandling people in what appears to be an apartment building in Suzhou, including one man who resisted and was carried out of the residence and to the elevator by three men.
One video posted by 5 News Australia shows a family being forcefully being escorted to an ambulance, as they had reportedly been diagnosed with the coronavirus and were deemed a public health threat.
“Wuhan officials are now carrying out door-to-door health checks to identify potential carriers who would need to be isolated,” reports the Daily Mail. “[Vice Premier Sun Chunlan] demanded four types of people in Wuhan be put into mandatory isolation in quarantine stations: confirmed cases, suspected cases, people who have close contact with the former two, and those who have fever.”
One emotional video shows nurse Liu Haiyan telling her daughter — who has to stand at a distance and masked — to “be good” and that she will return home once the battle against the virus is won.
“Mom, I miss you a lot,” the girl says through tears.
“Mom is fighting monsters,” the mother replies. “I’ll be back home once the virus is beaten.”
She gives her daughter an air hug from afar, which the girl returns, and leaves some food for her mother.
CREMATORIUMS ‘WORKING 24/7’
According to a report from The Epoch Times, funeral home workers are also struggling to keep up with the number of bodies to be cremated. It pointed to a video posted to YouTube that shows bodies on gurneys lined up for cremation, as well as another video showing several bagged deceased individuals lying on the floor or in chairs in a hospital.
“While cremation is a common burial practice in China, in a notice issued on Feb. 1, China’s National Health Commission said that people who have died from the virus can’t be buried and their bodies should be cremated immediately,” the outlet explains.
“Since Jan. 28, 90 percent of our employees are working 24/7. … We couldn’t go back home,” a man from one of Wuhan’s three main funeral homes, identified as Mr. Yun, stated. “We can’t stop because we can’t leave the bodies outside for a long time. … We really need more manpower.”
He said that the funeral home is transporting at least 100 bodies a day.
“For us who transfer the bodies, we don’t eat or drink for a long time in order to preserve the protective suit, because we need to take off the protective suit whenever we eat, drink, or go to the bathroom,” Yun advised. “The protective suit can’t be worn again after being used.”
“All male staff at our funeral home are picking up and moving bodies now, and female staff are answering the phones, disinfecting the funeral home, and so on,” a worker at a Wuchang funeral home similarly told Guyu Lab. “We work 24 hours. … We are very tired.”
“We are on the verge of collapsing. We really need help.”
CHRISTIANS OFFER THE PEACE OF CHRIST
Amid the crisis, Christians have been seeking to offer the peace of Christ to those who live in fear. As previously reported, one pastor in China penned a letter encouraging and exhorting the Body of Christ in the midst of disease and death.
“Christ has already given us His peace, but His peace is not to remove us from disaster and death, but rather to have peace in the midst of disaster and death, because Christ has already overcome these things (John 14:27, 16:33),” he wrote. “Otherwise we have not believed in the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15), and, with the world, would be terrified of pestilence, and lose hope in the face of death.”
He said that even if a believer dies in the midst of tribulation, it is still not a defeat.
“Spoken for today, Wuhan’s pestilence cannot separate us from the love of Christ; this love is in our Lord Jesus Christ. These words are so comforting for us, we have already become one body with Christ,” he wrote. “… Therefore, Christ is with us as we face the pestilence in this city; the pestilence cannot harm us. If we die in the pestilence, it is an opportunity to witness to Christ, and even more to enter into his glory.”
The pastor said that the current challenge with the coronavirus reminds him of Abraham facing Sodom and Jonah facing Ninevah, as they Abraham interceded and Jonah preached repentance to the saving of men’s souls.
“[M]ay we like Lot be grieved over all those in this city (1 Peter 2:7), and like Abraham who earnestly prayed for Sodom (Genesis 18:23-33),” he urged. “You see, Jonah with difficulty proclaimed the gospel to Nineveh, and Nineveh repented and was saved. We are this city’s Abraham and Jonah. We must pray for God’s mercy upon this city, and bring peace upon this city through our prayers and testimony.”
“I believe this is the command of God calling those of us living in Wuhan,” he continued. “We are to seek peace for this city, seek peace for those who are afflicted with this illness, seek peace for the medical personnel struggling on the front lines, seek peace for every government official at every level, seek peace for all the people of Wuhan!”
One video posted online presents the shouts of Wuhan residents as they chant out of their apartment windows, “Wuhan, stay strong!”